Meet Your Maker: Jessica Lemieux, Member Farmer Coordinator and Member Farmer
Jessica grew up in Alberta, where her family had a large garden that she wanted nothing to do with! But after living Halifax and then New Zealand before moving to Toronto her green thumb finally woke up. She had the opportunity to volunteer on organic farms in the south island in New Zealand as well as get to know folks doing permaculture and other rad social and environmental things. She came to Fresh City Farms after completing her Masters degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto. She has a love for growing and sharing the yield and is perusing certification in Horticultural Therapy alongside her city farming. At Fresh City she is a member farmer and member farmer coordinator. When Jessica is not at the farm she spends her time learning about and doing social permaculture, community building and support, and playing in the dirt.
There is a whiff of fall in the air as the nights get cooler and the leafs slowly change colour. Fall is my favorite time of year – one of harvest bounty, reflection of the summer season and long walks under colourful trees. I’ve had my share of successes (herb plot!) and disappointments (veggie plot covered in weeds) so far this season that have both been valuable learning. It has been such a pleasure hearing from subscribers who receive herbs from my and Caitlin’s plot (Sage Rising!) and are delighted with the fragrance that fills their kitchen when they open the box. I know this winter will be a time of reflection of the season past, about what I will change, hold on to and hope for for next summer.
My best moments from the season were not massive sales or exceptional yields but rather the times where I could take the time in my plots to observe the space. To see the details of herb leaves, the yellow finches eating the sunflowers or watch the monarchs flint around the wild flowers in the field. What I’ll remember from the season were the moments of pure beauty. I suppose this makes me more of a romantic than a commercial farmer (I’d rather leave the plants in that harvest them!). I think this suits me and what I would like to do with me life – therapeutic horticulture with people who experience mental illness. I also want to pass on my love of beauty to a new farmer that will be joining my family – my husband and I will be expecting our first baby in March! Caitlin and I hope to be still growing organic herbs in the 2013 season (baby in tow!)! So, while it is closing time in the coming weeks for the plots, good things will still be growing and ready to flourish for next season.